Friday, April 23, 2010

My Place Part 2: The Courtyard Garden - my favourite garden space.

My favourite garden space at my place is my courtyard garden.  This garden space is really at the back of the house but it is the way we all enter the house. 

We walk down the hill driveway:

... and approach the entrance to the pergola that leads to the courtyard garden. 

The pergola is under the shade of several clumps of Golden Cane palms - the one to the right of the above photo is now over 4 metres tall .  The top of this pergola is completely covered in jasmine (not in flower when these photos were taken) and arching over the top is the Hibiscus schizopetalus - the Japanese Lantern hibiscus.

Now walking under the archway and down the steps, surrounded by the giant sword fern - Nephrolepsis biserrata - on the right side with a large Fiji Fan Palm - Pritchardia Pacifica. 

This next photo shows the other side of the garden bed full of the giant sword ferns and the fan palm.  This garden bed is quite high on this side and provides a lovely outlook from the kitchen windows.  You can also see the jasmine spilling over the top ... and it's in bloom in this photo!

Now back to the pergola steps ....  On the left side there is another raised garden bed which contains the pond area which you can see through the leaves of the golden cane palm in this photo below.

At the back of this garden bed there is yet another golden cane palm (Dypsis lutescens) seen above and in the photo below,

my footstool palm (Livistona rotundifolia),

a bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii )

as well as lots of Neomarica longifolia (yellow iris) and various Dracaenas.

Let's keep on going down the steps towards the courtyard:

Here's the view back up the steps once we reach the courtyard:

You can see one of my beautiful Cycas revoluta to the left of the steps and more of those giant sword ferns!

Now let's take a look to the right of the steps at the garden bed with the pond:

At the back of the photo .... close to the lattice work.... you might catch another glimpse of the Livistona rotundifolia – Footstool Palm (centre back), the Chamaedorea seifrizii (syn: erumpens) – Bamboo Palm (you can just see the bamboo like stems to the right) and one of my red wing Cordylines (top left corner).  There really is a pond in amongst it all too!

All the plants at the front of the photo are potted plants which get changed - there's an autumn-spring collection and a summer collection.

Here's the collection of potted plants that were in this spot from the beginning of autumn to the end of spring last year .... March to November:

... and here's the collection that was in place for the summer of 2009 into 2010 - December to February:

Now the last garden bed in the courtyard garden is the large screening bed at the back of the courtyard:

This garden bed has Acalyphas, another Cycas revoluta, a very tall Aralia, a tall red Ixora, a Croton, an Acacia tree, a couple of Snowflake hibiscus shrubs, an aAdisia elliptica, a white Mussaenda philippica, an Allamanda, an old white hibiscus and a large clump of Phyllanthus multiflora.

Here's another view:

Off in the distance, behind the screening bed there is a beautiful cassia fistula - golden shower tree.  You can see the gorgeous bright yellow blooms in the next photo ... above the hibiscus and ixora flowers.

Now finally here's an overall view of the courtyard garden (end of spring last year) ... you can see the pergola and its garden beds off to the left and the large screening bed at the back.

The courtyard garden has been a work-in-progress for just over a year now.  It is the one garden space where I can change the garden view throughout the year.  I've been gradually adding lots of potted plants around the pond area and on the pavers, in an effort to add colour and variety to this space.

Right now the courtyard garden is in a state of flux ... after the long months of rain we've been experiencing, many of the drought tolerant plants have suffered and are longing for some decent sunshine.  This is a photo of the courtyard garden taken today ....

I'm in the process of re-designing the arrangement of potted plants ... trying out different combinations of colours.  As we are already approaching the last month of Autumn, I am eager to get these plants in position so they can start to flourish.

For Part 3 of My Place, please click on this link My Driveway Garden Beds


  1. Bernie you have got a great court yard garden. A big variety of plants and I like the idea of the seasonally planted pots and baskets. I always like it to have some colourful plants in-between all the greenery. I love the golden canes as they are so graceful also the other interesting palms. It is such a pleasure to go and see to the plants and marvel how beautiful everything looks.
    I must admit I do not always plan, but most of the time it falls into place, probably a
    subconscious intuition!!
    I love the yellow "Iris". Is this a walking
    Iris? I have never seen a yellow one. It looks so vibrant, beautiful. I grow the more common blue one. Bernie, you have a beautiful and interesting garden. A plants woman's garden.

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment Titania. I just got rather tired of all the various shades of green out in the garden and I'm having fun trying to add other colours. I'm also having fun trying out different plants to see whether they will survive the climate and conditions here.

    Yes the yellow iris is a walking iris. I have literally dozens of them scattered throughout garden beds here

  3. You have a beautiful garden and you must spend hours keeping it so nice. The pergola and courtyard gardens are just lovely. The potted plants add a lot of colour. The yellow Iris is stunning. I'm hopeless with names of plants but I love growing them and trying to turn the garden into a work of art. The rain is starting to rot the roots of some plants including the lavender. I had to pull out lots of dead ones today. boo hoo.

  4. Hi Bernie, the garden looks lovely and very inviting. I am amused that so many of your plants are indoor plants to me! cheers, catmint

  5. Thanks for your kind comments too, Diane. As I work part-time, I'm only out in the garden for around two or three days most weeks ... unless it's raining! ... and it's been raining for weeks and weeks now.

    I can totally relate to your problems with lavender rotting ... I've lost a few drought-tolerant plants due to the unseasonal rain we've been getting!

  6. Hi Catmint ... thanks for visiting. Yes ... I suppose most of the plants in and around my courtyard would not be grown outdoors over there. They are at home out in the rain, the sun and the humidity here.

  7. Beautiful, beautiful garden! Your brick paving is gorgeous.

  8. Cozy, inviting and exotic! The plants and blooms are stunning! You have your own piece of paradise there...

  9. You have a really beautiful and gorgeous garden!

  10. Thanks for visiting Lisa and Robb, Tatyana and Aaron ... I'm so glad you all like my favourite corner of the garden. It's an on-going project of mine ... I'm not sure if I'll ever really be happy with it ... gardeners' curse ... always striving for perfection.

  11. Your garden is beautiful. I love the palms and ferns. I wish my ferns would grow that big! xx

  12. You have commented several times how much you wish you could grow the plants and flowers I grow here in Ohio, Until now I could only imagine what you can grow and now I get to see what grows where you live. I'm envious, its gorgeous! It looks like a tropical paradise... I think maybe I'd trade and skip our winters for your tropical climate. I love your gardens and am really happy to see your gardens.

  13. Hi i am new here, just followed you from Noel's. I wish i've seen this earlier, as you have a fantastic garden, lots of beautiful plants. I am fromthe tropics too and those plants are common but the way you make them look as healthy as they are is something i envy. I wonder how difficult it can be doing all the works! I wish to do that too, but water is our main constraint esp during the dry season. Besides i think we have longer and more humid conditions than there, so i will contend myself just envying your plants. haha!

  14. Thanks for visiting Andrea ... glad you enjoyed the visit to my downunder garden.

    In my particular part of Australia, gardening is not easy. Our very long dry season and what can be our short and horrible wet season, as well as our heat, humidity, terrible soil and harsh sunlight, really makes gardening a challenge here.

  15. Your Court Yard garden is a delight. I bet you love coming home! It looks like instant peace!

  16. Seu jardim é belo! é bem o estilo diversificado brasileiro...parece que estou vendo fotos de jardins aqui do Brasil, o clima é muito parecido, as plantas também. Parabéns!

  17. Anonymous ... thank you very much for your lovely comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour of my courtyard garden. Isn't it great to know that tropical gardens provide such pleasure in different parts of the world.

    Comment from Anonymous: "Your garden is beautiful! is well diversified Brazilian style ... looks like I'm seeing pictures of gardens here in Brazil, the climate is very similar, the plants also. Congratulations"

  18. Bernie, I always appreciate your comments on my site. Having visited yours, I'm jealous of your courtyard garden and pergola. :) Brian

  19. This is so much wonderfull!! Thank you! I enjoy this visit, your place look like a Secret Garden..
    Beautilfull, congratulations! (sorry about my english, i'm from Argentina) Aniuska

  20. I love the photos of the garden! They are so beautiful!

  21. You have an excellent gift for gardening!


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